The world after the Blip is getting more and more complicated and it’s affecting a lot more people.
This week, Sam and Bucky do some questionable things, like freeing the notorious Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) , but it’s all to find out who’s making Super Soldiers. The end has to justify the means in this world, like it or not. A lot of people, though, have other ideas, especially someone from a familiar nation.
While the Global Repatriation Council is running PSAs assuring people everything will be OK again, even with a slogan (Reset, Restore, Rebuild) that seems to touch on what the Flag-Smashers want to do. At least the episode shows Karli (Erin Kellyman) has personal reasons of why she is bringing back Super Soldiers, namely losing her mom in Latvia. As far as she’s concerned, her group can do better than the GRC, pointing out it’s not doing its job as well as it could be.
The problem is sometimes she goes too far, like killing people in another camp in Lithuania, because she thinks it’s the only way. This is the side-effect from the Blip no one talks about. She wonders why those who weren’t Blipped are being forgotten, but she goes too far to make her point.
The main issue, though, is trying to stop the Super Soldiers who are already around, including Karli. So, Sam and Bucky are able to spring Zemo thanks to a lot of distractions. Sam is not happy about this, but it’s their only chance. They find out that although Zemo has been behind bars, he still has plenty of wealth at this disposal. He’s even a Marvin Gaye fan.
Zemo, Sam and Bucky head out to Madripoor, an evil hybrid of Beijing and Vegas. Zemo has them pose as bad guys (Bucky as Winter Soldier, Sam as Smiling Tiger), but it seems Bucky is more convincing. Sam has a bit of trouble drinking something with snake guts. They try to get info from a woman named Selby, but an ill-timed phone call nearly ruins everything. Selby still gets killed, though, and now the guys have a price on their heads.
They get some surprising help from Sharon Carter (Emily Van Kamp), who’s still very upset from the events of Civil War. She’s had to be a hustler, selling hot paintings to the rich and notorious. She’s also become very cynical about heroism in general, but it’s because she’s had to survive. She can’t go home or see her family. Consider a “What If” episode where Peggy Carter experienced what Sharon had, and whether she would become cynical, too. Now that would be interesting.
Then again, Bucky claiming half of the collection at the Louvre may be more horrifying.
Still, Sam says he’ll get a pardon for Sharon (heck, Bucky got one) if she helps out.
One thing is more sure, Sharon’s a tougher fighter these days, Even her great aunt would raise an eyebrow. That comes in handy while the guys look for a scientist named Nagel (Olli Haaskivi). They find out Nagel was able to recreate the Super-Serum (thanks to analyzing blood from Isiah from last week) just before he was Blipped. About 20 vials were made, with help from the still-unknown Power Broker. Karli, though, stole them, and now they’re at large. Zemo thanks Nagel by killing him, and it looks like he’ll leave Sam and Bucky behind. Actually, he just got new wheels.
Sharon decides to stay behind, but she’s not out of the story yet. She tells another woman they have some big problems, and it’s assumed it’s Sam and Bucky.
So, who is Sharon really working for, and is she doing this for a better offer than Sam offered?
Meanwhile, “Captain America” John Walker (Wyatt Russell) and Lemar (Cle Bennett) have been busy following Sam and Bucky’s trail. Walker is upset when he doesn’t get answers in Germany, yelling at someone “do you know who I am”. That’s a bad sign. Steve never thought that was important. It also shows that Zemo’s right about how people put super-heroes on pedestals, making them symbols and icons. People tend to forget the flaws that might hide within, and Walker is proving that. He still thinks he can wind up being the hero, taking credit for what Sam and Bucky are trying to do. Whether he can is another matter.
The episode ends with Zemo and Sam in Latvia getting more information about Karli and the Flag-Smashers. Bucky, though, sees some Vibranium beads on the ground. He knows what this means.
Wakanda demands justice for the death of T’Chaka, and that means it wants Zemo…or else.
By the way, that’s Ayo (Florence Kasumba), second in command of the Dora Milaje.
Could she understand the idea of using one criminal to find monsters who could also threaten the world including Wakanda?
Your move, Bucky.
This episode advances the plot just a bit, showing that people who want a peaceful post-Blip world are going to be disappointed. The battle over what that world should be is going to be very messy. Relying on symbols to inspire the world may not work either. A bigger problem has also emerged, and finding a solution means justice will have to be paused…but for how long?
Falcon and the Winter Soldier airs new episodes every Friday on Disney Plus